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Aztec Warriors


Aztec Warriors
Ready your self for battle as you learn about the martial side of this Central American civilization
The Aztecs were a fierce and powerful group of warriors, defined by their religious fervour and class system. New warriors had to work their way up from the bottom by capturing prisoners. This was an important part of a young warrior’s introduction into the martial society, as the Aztecs would sacrifice prisoners to the god Huitzilopochtli. Once a warrior had captured a prisoner, he would attain the rank of a warrior.

Most Aztecs wore padded cotton armour called ichcahuipilli, which remained cool in the intense heat of Mexico but was also tough enough to deflect most arrows and darts. However, the elite fighting forces – called the ‘Eagles’ and ‘Jaguars’ – dressed as their namesakes. Eagle warriors donned feathers and an eagle-head helmet (see annotated warrior), while Jaguar fighters were wrapped in the skin of the South American big cat. The higher up the social rank you rose, the more elaborate the costume became.
Their main weapon was the maquahuitl, a wooden sword with vicious shards of obsidian embedded down the sides. This deadly tool was capable of beheading a human. The Aztecs were also proficient users of arrows, slings and the atlatl, a throwing device that allowed them to hurl spears harder and faster than possible with the arm alone.

Aztec Warriors, Huitzilopochtli, see annotated warrior, Jaguar fighters